Science is not the same as Public Health – (and Dr Fauci does not ‘represent science’!)

The below is an extract from a Guardian article which is reporting on some remarks made by Dr Fauci to CBS. We can be fairly confident that he will not have been asked any challenging questions. Such as where did the virus come from.

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On CBS, Fauci was also asked about Republican attacks over federal research prior to the pandemic and his role in the Trump administration.

“Anybody who’s looking at this carefully realizes that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this,” he said. “They’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous. To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me.”

Asked if he thought attacks were meant to scapegoat him and deflect attention from Donald Trump’s failures, Fauci said: “You have to be asleep not to figure that one out.”

“I’m just going to do my job and I’m going to be saving lives and they’re going to be lying,” he said.

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Comments:

The coyly worded “federal research prior to the pandemic” is a (dishonest) journalistic cover for the funding of risky and controversial gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, an unsafe, according to other US officials, research facility that was playing with the same type of viruses as have caused the pandemic- just a few Km from the epicentre of the pandemic. Some of the funded projects have end dates in the future. So the “prior” is also a lie. How do these people (the journalists) live with themselves?

“I represent science”. An extraordinary remark. Was it challenged by CBS? It isn’t in the Guardian. Perhaps we should say “Fauci falsely claimed to represent science”? Of course; a) no single person “represents science” even if science was a homogenous whole it belongs to many people, b) most science and especially epidemiology cannot be reduced to a ‘single truth’ – most science is in fact contested (a healthy process) and so no one can ‘represent’ ‘it’. Even the best scientists will often disagree on certain points. What Fauci does represent is his own bureaucracy. He is confusing science and public policy. This is precisely the point that Senator Rand Paul has been making; these are different matters (both at a theoretical level and at a practical). For example; it seems that in the US previous exposure to Covid is not considered an alternative to vaccination. Since natural exposure offers comparable immunity to a vaccine this is an unscientific position. It may arguably make some kind of sense from a Public Health perspective; but even so this is not ‘science’. Many countries do accept that natural infection ‘counts’ as being ‘vaccinated’ for Covid pass purposes. There is nothing ‘anti-science’ about making this argument; this is not sour grapes from Trump-aligned Republicans. It is a scientifically literate questioning of public policy; Rand Paul is fulfilling his democratic mandate in asking the questions he does. What we see in these comments is a planned and careful lie being deployed by Fauci to discredit his critics.

Fauci’s rather blatant attempt to make his failures a political partisan issue is surprising given he is supposed to be a non-partisan public official. But then he did – according to Trump – sit through many meetings on Covid with Trump and never once mentioned the lab…..

“They are lying”. Well – Fauci certainly knows how to take the fight to the enemy. But anyone who watched his lies around “not gain-of-function” fall apart under Senator Rand Paul’s questioning will know who is lying. Most telling was the moment when he said “We did not fund gain-of-function research” only to be forced to clarify that he did not think that ‘gain-of-function’ work includes animal viruses. [1] In this moment his supposedly solid ‘defence’ was exposed as the semantic games it is.

Dr Fauci is a serial liar. He may have direct responsibility for the pandemic. He is certainly doing his best to cover himself against that possibility while at the same time trying to play down the idea of a lab leak. A very dishonest position.

Update 30/11/21

This is Rand Paul discussing these comments: https://rumble.com/vpzoft-dr.-rand-paul-addresses-president-bidens-covid-hypocrisy-november-29-2021.html

Paul makes the point better than me. What Fauci ‘represents’ is Public Health. Public Health is public policy informed by some science. It is not the same as science.

Paul also makes the interesting point that the only things which work against Sars-Cov-2 are vaccines and natural immunity. The lockdowns and mask-wearing and all the rest of it haven’t substantially affected the trajectory of the pandemic. This is probably true. Paul is a qualified physician and he seems to have a better grasp of the science of this than Fauci.

(I advocated for a lockdown in the UK right at the start and it is clear that had that been done it would have slowed the pandemic in the UK. At any event the point of my posts at that time was they were doing nothing and there were steps they certainly could have taken – in line with WHO guidance, including testing. In fact of course they did worse than nothing; they dumped lots of Covid-infected patients in care homes killing 20,000 people wholly unnecessarily).

Notes

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pnb2Yxri6eY 2.02

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer